October 3rd, 2015 by

BIG PICTUREHave you ever made a jigsaw puzzle? When you first start out, you’re wondering how in the world all of these pieces will fit together to look like the picture on the box.  And be honest, don’t you secretly worry until you place the last piece that one might be missing, that somehow someone left out the last piece or someone lost it? As you come down to the finale placements, you’re trying to visualize just how the last ones fit together, to see if the picture before you will actually match the one advertised. Do you find yourself distracted as your attention drifts from the task at hand? Maybe a piece doesn’t fit just as you thought it would, or a piece that you were sure would fit in the corner suddenly proves to be vital for another area of the puzzle.

The author of Hebrews finds himself in the same predicament, only the stakes are a whole lot higher. You can walk away from a jigsaw puzzle that is only half-complete and maybe you’re out $5.95, but what is the cost of ignoring the salvation presented by Jesus?

2 For since the message spoken through angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, 3 how shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation?
Hebrews 2:2

Though scholars debate on who the target audience was, there is little disagreement as to the purpose of the book. A group who has been taught the Gospel as handed down through the disciples is beginning to question their original understanding. Maybe they did not experience what they expected, or Christ did not return as quickly as they had understood He would. Perhaps they are inclined to go back to the established norms in which they were raised. Whatever the cause, the author harkens them back to their previous beliefs through the Old Testament and illustrates how their old ways pointed to the new. He takes the Scripture and uses it differently, in the same context but with a different application. He points them back to Christ crucified, raised from the dead and ascended to the right hand of the Father. Our salvation has come. So what does the world look like through that lens?

Hebrews 1:1-4
                CLICK ON LENS TO ENLARGE

In the middle of the lens are the points that the author develops as he exhorts and encourages his audience to live life in accordance with a new covenant. But the statements are just arrows directing us on a path. Sometimes thepath is well-worn and clear, while at other times, the path is overgrown, and it may feel as if we are guessing about our best possible course, just like in the jigsaw puzzle. I love to fit the pieces when I have a clearly-defined picture of something like a boat or a house, but give me azure blue sky pieces without clouds or other defining features, and my interest could easily begin to drift away.

So what are the pieces of your life that do not seem to be fitting? What frustrations are you harboring that seem to be insurmountable? Do not let the situations or individual pieces of the puzzle divert your attention from the bigger picture.

Each piece of the puzzle has its place, each vital to the complete picture. And just as all of the pieces interlock, our situations and lives form a picture.

Join us Sunday as Rt. Reverend Brighton Vita Malasa visits from Upper Shire Diocese Malawi, and take time to review the puzzle with him. How does the international communion connect with the local? How do we serve one another so that the puzzle is God’s vision and not one that we have painted over because the pieces did not seem to fit? How does a different perspective or vantage point clarify our understanding of the big picture and change our use of the individual puzzle pieces we have been given?


About this author:

Clint Kandle

Clint Kandle, Assisting Priest After five years as an officer in the Army and almost fifteen years in business, I finally realized that God had been calling me to work full time for Him. I have been blessed with a patient, supportive wife and four dynamic, intelligent children who have completely supported my decision to leave my secular employment and pursue God’s call. While in seminary, I worked and volunteered at Loaves and Fishes in Apopka, FL. I provided the heavy lifting for the food distribution and the pastoral care when needs arose with the staff or clients. After graduation, I assumed the role of a hospice chaplain, supporting patients, families and staff throughout the dying process. Death is a thin place, and I have been privileged to watch Him work through some extremely difficult situations. I have come to love the three streams of worship as experienced here at New Covenant and now am privileged, for a set period of time, to help with communication in all forms as well as serve the congregation through presence and pastoral care whenever possible. Education: BS, General Engineering, United States Military Academy, West Point, New York, 1987 M.Div, Asbury Theological Studies, Orlando, Florida, 2011 Ordination Deacon in 2011 Priest in 2013

2 responses to “THE BIG PICTURE”

  1. Avatar David Ruddell says:

    Howdy Clint – I think your observation about death is spot on. I have never heard it expressed that way. It needs to be filled out a little more. Your years at West Point provided you an education and a learning experience that very few will ever experience. I do not want to sound trite but I am not sure you have put together your West Point and current experience as a Priest as a continuation of GODS call on your life. Life as you know is getting tougher and their needs to be leadership stepping up. You are uniquely qualified so be ready. OUR GOD REIGNS

    • Clint Kandle Clint Kandle says:

      One scholar stated that the entire Hebrew’s passage describes the people of God as the new people of the wilderness. We know that the promised land has been won but we have not reached it yet. We see outposts, glimpses, but the world is waiting for Christ’s return for complete fulfillment. With that illustration in mind, he argues that the body of Christ, the Church, must therefore cling to one another in order to survive until his promises are fulfilled. This argument stresses the essential component of the corporate body to a people who are much more comfortable with personal autonomy. Together we will work to faithfully follow His call.

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